This Post Brought to You By ________!

This week I was presented with my first offer, as a blogger, to do a review for a company in exchange for a selection of samples of their products and a possible future "relationship" with the company...

to which I said "eh, no thanks.  This makes me feel weird"

This product was actually something I would have really, really loved to own.

Am I alone in finding it deeply creepy for advertising to infiltrate what is basically a journal? my Diary?

Can you imagine laying down on your bed, writing about your day in your notebook, when suddenly your words are invaded by Gap khakis! or Soy Joy bars!

Can we all agree that despite the intense advertising campaign, nobody likes these bars?

I can't promise that I will never accept a freebie in return for a review in the future.  I may become extremely desperate for free stuff, or I may lose touch with the blog and pimp it out to the market.

Where I stand right now though, reviews sometimes make me shudder.

Some blogs do true reviews (usually evident by voicing neutrality or dislike for the product), which doesn't offend me -- I am not likely to be swayed by it though.

Some blogs do fake reviews, where they eat it/ wear it and then just use exclamation points to explain how great it is!!!! hint hint send me more for free!!!

I have even seen a blog post "presented by" or "sponsored by" so-and-so.   This just blows my mind!! Blogging is so pure and raw, I can't stand to see it look so manufactured.

And of course, I'm referring to blogs that are written by the average Jane, you know?  Not like Kara Goucher's blog or the Kardashians blog (do they have one?) or bloggers who blog as a full time gig.  I expect those to be manufactured.

I also don't have any ads on my blog margins.  Too ugly to be worth the $0.81 a year that I suspect those bring in.

I also blog with a cute 4 year old latched on to me

Blog reviews often lead to blog giveaways.  A good chunk of the time though, giveaways are done purely out of the goodness of the blogger's heart (and their desire for readers to come out of hiding and onto the comment board), rather than for a brand.

I am a participator in blog giveaways.  I love them!  I actually WON one recently, thanks to hauterunningmama who actually knows how to pick the right random number :) 

I plan to return the favor eventually and hold my own giveaway.

Here's what I won't do when I hold a giveaway:

  1. force you to be a "follower"
  2. ask you to tweet or blog about the giveaway.
  3. make you check out a website of some product
  4. make you vote for me (or a loved one) for some contest, which involves giving up your e-mail address and being vulnerable to extra spam
  5. Answer a question that requires more than 0.2 millileters of effort to think of an answer to (yes, effort is measured in millileters).

This one's especially for Diana,  Just for kicks.

I feel like a monkey dancing for it's meal when I enter a giveaway by saying "I'm a follower!!"  "I checked out the site and I like the pink ones best!"  or "what does health mean to me? health means douching twice a day!!"

So to end this with the obligatory questions:

Thoughts on advertising or product reviews on blogs?  I promise to still be your friend if you disagree with me 10000%.

What's the coolest thing you've ever won in a blog giveaway?